The Varaždin-based „Association for the „Promotion of Safety, Ecology and Healthy Life“ has successfully applied for the AAA-project “Cool Rescue Ride” in 2019. Its operational implementation started in mid-January with a two-day expert meeting held in Ludbreg/Varaždin County, with fire service officials from Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

The focus of this project is on additional training for emergency service drivers (members of fire brigades, mountain rescue services, emergency medical services, the Red Cross and similar organizations) in stressful or hazardous situations.

The project leader and initiator is Stjepan Kovaček, president of the „Association for the Promotion of Safety, Ecology and Healthy Life“ in Varaždin, and among other participants from the Croatian side are representatives of the Varaždin County Fire Brigades Association, Town of Ludbreg Fire Brigades Association and the Sveti Đurđ Municipality Fire Brigades Association. Coordinator of the Slovenian team is Marija Kunstelj, head of EU-projects within the Šinkov Turn Voluntary Fire Brigade, while the Austrian team is led by Dr. Michael Halwachs, area commander within the Pinkafeld/Burgenland Voluntary Fire Brigade.

The project will continue with a three-day expert conference in Slovenia and Austria, with emphasis on the different protocols and practical presentations of training for emergency service drivers in those countries.

The final part of the project will be a visit to voluntary fire brigades in the Austrian region of Burgenland, especially in places with Croatian national minority in order to further the possibilites for other European cooperation projects.

Pictures: Zvonko Videc, Filip Kovaček